Construction logistics in urban areas: what role can UUC’s play?

A lot of attention has been paid in the last years to city logistics activities generated by specific market segments such as food, retail, or home deliveries, while relatively little attention has been paid to the transport of goods to and from construction sites in urban areas.

Although the transport of construction materials represents up to 30% of freight movements in cities and even more in terms of pollutant emissions. Using data collected over eight months in four construction sites, the SUCCESS project provides a better understanding of the city logistics activities related to construction and presents the potential benefits of the implementation of construction consolidation centers (CCCs).

A CCC is an innovative approach, which aims at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of logistics processes by reducing the number of deliveries. Consequently, the use of CCCs in urban areas can reduce congestion and pollutant emissions due to construction freight movements. This paper presents the results of CCC usage simulations for the four construction sites.

The CCC could represent an effective approach to managing the construction supply chain, reducing traffic in urban centers at busy times and ensuring that resources are used more efficiently. A CCC has much more storage space than a typical construction site, so it can be used as a sort of back-up for some materials, where they are stored in a safe place. While delays in delivery to construction sites cannot be ruled out entirely, they are likely to be less serious if the materials are not transported from further afield. Again, more attention should be given to such kind of best practices, both from researchers and decision-makers, if one aims at making urban development more sustainable
The results suggest that the distribution of goods to and from construction sites is peculiar as compared to other, better-known, urban supply chains and reinforce the call to researchers and decision-makers from both private and public sides to devote more attention to this market segment.

Source: MDPI

Guerlain, C.; Renault, S.; Ferrero, F. Understanding Construction Logistics in Urban Areas and Lowering Its Environmental Impact: A Focus on Construction Consolidation Centres. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6118.

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